Quotes of the day

posted at 8:41 pm on August 30, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday delivered a strong call for action in Syria, pushing the need for a response to the use of chemical weapons and stressing that the mistakes of Iraq will not be repeated. …

“History would judge us all extraordinarily harshly if we turned a blind eye to a dictator’s wanton use of weapons of mass destruction against all warnings, against all common understanding of decency,” Kerry said. “These things we do know.” …

Kerry said the intelligence community is “more than mindful of the Iraq experience.”

We will not repeat that moment,” Kerry said.

***

President Obama, with Great Britain having rejected military action in Syria, finds himself on the verge of pursuing the very kind of go-it-alone approach that he accused his predecessor of using in Iraq.

Obama, though, may not even have a “coalition of the willing” at his back, as George W. Bush did, should he choose to pursue the military option in Syria. America’s most vital ally, Great Britain, effectively pulled out before the fireworks began, when the House of Commons voted against military action on Thursday evening.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Thursday rejected the notion that the current situation is in any way similar to the run-up to the Iraq war under the George W. Bush administration.

“I think that there are some very important differences. What we saw in that circumstance was an administration that was searching high and low to produce evidence to justify a military invasion, an open-ended military invasion of another country, with the final goal being regime change,” he said.

***

Obama pledged Wednesday that any action against Syria would be small in scale and short in duration. He said he’s “not getting drawn into a long conflict, not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about.”

In 2003, President George W. Bush made it clear from the outset that Saddam Hussein had to leave power, or be forced out. “The day of your liberation is near,” Bush told the Iraqi people two days before the attack began.

At issue in Iraq were alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, accusations of human rights violations, and purported links to terrorist organizations.

But in Syria, Kerry said Friday, the goal of a U.S. action is “to ensure that a despot’s brutal and flagrant use of chemical weapons is held accountable.”

***

Most of the Arab world opposed Bush’s invasion of Iraq. The entire Arab League except Kuwait condemned the war. And Turkey denied the U.S. use of its military bases. This time around, most of the Arab world, with the exceptions of Iraq and Lebanon, supports strikes against Assad, and Saudi Arabia and Turkey are in talks to potentially participate in the military operation.

Remember Freedom Fries? France and much of Europe weren’t wild about going to war in Iraq. France is now spearheading the effort to oust Assad, although Germany and southern Europe remain skeptical of military involvement. Britain, of course, was as much on board with Iraq in 2003 as it is with Syria in 2013.

This time, there’s next to no doubt they actually exist. The pretense for the war in Iraq was disproven: Hussein’s alleged WMD stockpiles were never found. In this case, the international community has, with the exception of Russia and Iran, accepted and condemned the use of chemical gas in Syria last week that killed as many as 1,300 people.

***

Isn’t a high level of skepticism of optional involvement in Middle Eastern conflicts rather warranted after what happened with Iraq?

There’s a lot of talk about, oh, is this Iraq or is it Rwanda? I tend to agree with the notion that this is closer to Kosovo, with the main difference being that the opposition is not as trained or coherent as the KLA was. The rationale for going in matters. [With Iraq, it was] the notion that it was connected to 9/11 and had WMDs, both of which turned out not to be true. You also had a nation that was in a position of relative stability, not an existing civil war that we decided to engage in where people were being slaughtered. It was a country that was incredibly repressive but relatively stable, and we went in and changed that. Here is a situation where people are dying in huge numbers and being displaced in a region that’s already destabilized, not a situation where a highly objectionable dictator is using his power to ensure stability. So even if Bush had made the humanitarian argument from the beginning, instead of ex post facto after the other rationales fell apart, Iraq was an “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” situation. Syria is already broken.

***

But for all the fears of repeating Bush’s mistakes, Obama is taking the country to war in Syria from an arguably weaker position than Bush did with Iraq 10 years ago.

On public opinion alone, they are worlds apart (and this is a democracy, after all, so such things should matter). “Do you think that the United States should or should not take military action to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq?” a Wall Street Journal/NBC news poll asked two days before the bombing began in 2003. A clear majority, 65 percent, said yes, while just 30 percent said no.

Compare that to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll out this morning that found that 50 percent of Americans oppose military intervention in Syria, compared with 42 percent who support it. When asked if the U.S. should prioritize removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power, just 16 percent of respondents said yes. …

And while Bush’s “coalition of the willing” was a joke, at least he had the United Kingdom. Obama lost London yesterday when Parliament voted to oppose the war effort.

***

First, there’s no clear objective. At least in Iraq, we knew what our initial goal was: overthrowing Saddam Hussein’s regime. This time, our government is disavowing any such concrete purpose. We’re instead going to be “punishing” Bashar al-Assad’s regime or “sending a message” to it. It’s the armed forces as Western Union. How we will know when the regime has been punished enough, or the message made unmistakable, is anyone’s guess.

Second, the national-security rationale for intervention is weaker in Syria. In Iraq, of course, the national-security claims turned out to be vastly overstated; the regime didn’t have the nuclear capacities that Western intelligence agencies suggested. This time, though, not much of a national-security argument is even being made. It has been pointed out that the Syrian regime is an ally of Iran, but that’s hardly a reason for an intervention that is not designed to replace the regime with one friendlier to us. President Barack Obama has tried claiming that Syria’s chemical weapons could be turned against us, but it’s not clear he has even persuaded himself to worry about that.

***


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and now a sixth ship…the san antonio
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/31/us-syria-crisis-ships-idUSBRE97U01Z20130831

this ship as i remember it has no tomahawks
its an amphibious ship with 800 marines…

what the heck is BHO thinking now..??

going2mars on August 31, 2013 at 1:47 AM

I dunno. Sparking something?

Retired Admiral Gary Roughead, who served as chief of naval operations during the 2011 strikes on Libya, said any strike on Syria would have to be targeted precisely to do the maximum amount of damage to Syrian military headquarters and other key sites – and to avert the possibility of retaliatory action.

“If you’re going to try to shape events, you really need to hurt them,” said Roughead, now a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. “You would have to do something that would diminish the effectiveness of the Syrian military and that would be their command and control, perhaps their leadership, and then their ability to control air space.”

. . . thereby giving their country to whom?

Rhetorical.

Axe on August 31, 2013 at 1:50 AM

Two of four women on the ‘affected’ side of the family are divorced, but they never got along with their ex’s, afterward.
So I’d say you’re doing pretty well, considering.

I agree. Talking about everything as we have has played a big part as to why that’s the case.

We had/have a complicated relationship. I was friends with her for years before we started dating, so I knew most of her issues. We both are committed Christians & Conservatives. That didn’t stop her from divorcing me, as it should have. However, the divorce did get us out of the pressure cooker we were in, which is what led us to where we are now, a harmonious place!

My attitude is, since I was able to put up with her very difficult side and survive, I can put up with pretty much anything! :) (I’ll add that I am not a fatalist when it comes to dealing with others’ OCD, Asperger’s, anxiety, NPD, etc., which helped us get through the bad times…)

God bless you, and your ex.

listens2glenn on August 31, 2013 at 1:21 AM

T/y, and the same to you! :)

Anti-Control on August 31, 2013 at 1:52 AM

Does anyone have Blaze tv? Is it any good? There needs to be more conservative news
channels on tv.

bluegill on August 31, 2013 at 1:57 AM

Still have that on cassette tape, good listening.

whatcat on August 31, 2013 at 1:33 AM

:)

This one stirs my soul!

Sebastian Cabot – “It Ain’t Me Babe”

Anti-Control on August 31, 2013 at 2:01 AM

gh on August 31, 2013 at 1:48 AM

Thanks..Will do..:)

Dire Straits on August 31, 2013 at 2:12 AM

For arnold ziffel:

Eddie Albert – “Blowin` in the Wind”

Anti-Control on August 31, 2013 at 2:14 AM

When you spend this much time whining and wringing hands about it, you’re going to look like a big fat sissy even if you end up taking a shot.

I think a limited strike against Assad’s forces has been an appropriate action before, so the possible WMD use only strengthens that case – but the option should not be regime change, but hurting them. Early on, we might have been able to empower pro-democracy rebels who weren’t muslim extremists and influenced a successor government a year or so ago, but jihadis have been streaming in from all over Jihadistan for so long now that hope is gone.

If we can’t ensure a better next regime, the second best outcome is a long war of attrition with lots of dead jihadis on boths sides. Al Qaeda and MB groups oppose Assad, Iran and Hezbollah and Shi’ite extremists are supporting him. If they fought to the last man, we could then send in John Kerry to defiantly kill him.

Okay, the last line is a joke.

Adjoran on August 31, 2013 at 2:15 AM

one of the problems with the tomahawk pin prick theory
is a tomahawk needs an address..and we’ve given them 4 or 5 days to change the address of anything the would like to continue owning…also you dont use a tomahawk to take out a runway…
so this whole deal is …just to save some BHO face…

going2mars on August 31, 2013 at 2:26 AM

The supposed rationale for US attack on Syria to avenge/prevent claimed civilian deaths by government gas attacks, the US government itself has used similar weapons openly as recently as the FBI/ATF attack on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco Texas in the spring of 1993.

76 men, women and children died in this senseless military style assault which used highly lethal military CS gas as a primary weapon. CS is not a nerve agent and it doesn’t in normal concentrations cause immediate death. But it is highly flammable, persistent and designed to incapacitate targets by causing massive biological reactions including inability to breathe, massive tearing in the eyes, nose bleeds, etc.

The Davidians were totally surrounded, posed no threat to others, and responded with weapons fire only after the ATF/FBI attacked with military style firearms. After the initial government assault was repelled, and after a long standoff, an impatient President Clinton and his Attorney General Janet Reno ordered an all-out military assault on the compound, despite the fact that the only legal justification was a single warrant for David Koresh on unproven charges. The presence of innocent group members was ignored, nor was there any planning for medical aid or fire suppression.

The rest is history.

On to Syria

roflmmfao

donabernathy on August 31, 2013 at 3:43 AM

PointnClick on August 30, 2013

…I like this guy…and went through some of his ‘stuff’…!…how come you haven’t been clicking here… and pointing sooner!…we could have welcomed you ALOT SOONER!….like 2012!

KOOLAID2 on August 30, 2013 at 9:45 PM

I’ve been here a long, long, loooooong time… I think I might pre-date Obama. I’ve been reading here for at least 7 or 8 years, and I think I stumbled into an open registration right before the 2008 election, but I might be wrong about that date, I don’t really remember. I just don’t have the time to post all the time, if that makes sense. If a story on HotAir compels me, or a commentor says something I believe warrants a rebuke or retort, I’ll drop a quick post or two, but I just don’t have time to discuss or debate, especially with the likes of LibFree, UrbanElitist, Sesquipud, or any of these other perennial jackasses that I have watched come and go over the years. I honestly know who I am and what I believe, and I don’t need the edification of my peers to be secure in my opinions, nor do I care to debate them with others that disagree with me. I just don’t have the time, interest, or inclination to argue with the likes of Capitalist Hog ( or is that Smoked Pork?).

I’m a hit and run kinda poster… I think one of my best moments was here…

Given what Obama has done to destroy this country I still feel McCain would have done worse. Thus so would Romney.

Steveangell on August 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM

Dude… seriously…?

Show of hands…? Who here thinks the country would be worse off if McCain had spent the last three years on a whiskey and PCP bender, after teaching Sarah how to forge his signature…?

PointnClick on August 18, 2012 at 12:17 AM

But I read the comments on stories I find interesting, and I try to skim QOTD when I can, but I can’t keep up with the music, and keeping up with the glade and the Cheetos and the Zima and the pistol shrimp and who is pantless and who is drinking what is exhausting… And I never get a Bishop…

You know what it is…? It’s like the 10th grade cafeteria, and the kids at the cool table like Axe and Scrumpy and Bmore and Jackie and RWM and Schad and B9 and Dire and Sparky and Koolaid just noticed that the the guy in the corner with the low-grade Tourretes Syndrome that can’t help dropping F-bombs is actually kinda funny… in a way your parents wouldn’t approve of…

PointnClick on August 31, 2013 at 6:57 AM

The Davidians were totally surrounded, posed no threat to others, and responded with weapons fire only after the ATF/FBI attacked with military style firearms. After the initial government assault was repelled, and after a long standoff, an impatient President Clinton and his Attorney General Janet Reno ordered an all-out military assault on the compound, despite the fact that the only legal justification was a single warrant for David Koresh on unproven charges. The presence of innocent group members was ignored, nor was there any planning for medical aid or fire suppression.

The rest is history.

On to Syria

roflmmfao

donabernathy on August 31, 2013 at 3:43 AM

You’re correct, don. The only

satisfaction is that hell awaits those responsible, because this government is corrupt and will never bring anyone to justice who rightly deserves it.

Cleombrotus on August 31, 2013 at 7:06 AM

Happy Saturday, Patriots1 …and Trolls.

There’s something happening here, What it is, ain’t exactly clear. There’s a man with a gun over there, Telling me I got to beware. I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound? Everybody look what’s going down.

– Buffalo Springfield
My Take: “The Syria Situation: The President Who Couldn’t (and, Wouldn’t) Shoot Straight”

kingsjester on August 31, 2013 at 7:19 AM

PointnClick on August 31, 2013 at 6:57 AM

Great post. I resemble your remarks. Don’t really have the time to post endlessly or worry about who doesn’t like my every word.I got over that after a long long term in journalism both in print and on the air. I still work 50-60 hours per week. So my posting time is limited.
There is however lots at stake and when good topics come up I like to chime in.

rodguy911 on August 31, 2013 at 7:20 AM

Maybe this was already mentioned, but the AOL homepage features Obysmal sitting at a table with his advisors and attempting to look presidential while he has his legs crossed in that fagotty way he prefers. The table of his confidantes does not inspire confidence in the decision at all.

onlineanalyst on August 31, 2013 at 7:32 AM

or he risks possible impeachment hearings, for getting us involved in another country’s Civil War. – kingjester

kingjester, love ya’ man,but it. ain’t. gonna. happen. EVER.

You seem to forget that we have gone through a quiet coup. This wasn’t merely a change of administrations. This was a fundamental change of government. We, the people, no longer have a say in the matter and our elected representatives, for the most part, are in on the deal.

This is what I truly believe.

Cleombrotus on August 31, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Cleombrotus on August 31, 2013 at 7:32 AM

Yeah, I know. The silence from Boehner is deafening.,,but, not unexpected.

kingsjester on August 31, 2013 at 7:36 AM

Obama is on the mound with Assad up to bat. The world sits in the stands, fans and foes alike.
Obama stares intently at the catcher, shaking off sign after sign. Finally he nods yes.
As he is about to begin his windup the fans start the chant, “O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma!”
Obama delivers the pitch!
His pitching motion is that of a seven year old girl.
After two bounces, the ball rolls feebly over the plate.
A second of stunned silence from the crowd that seems like it lasts minutes followed by…
an uproar of laughter!
Ball one!!!

justltl on August 31, 2013 at 7:38 AM

kingsjester on August 31, 2013 at 7:36 AM

Just look at the way that that ANYTHING that might remotely be called “the will of the people” is continually and effectively countered and rendered null and void. And no one, in any official capacity stands up against it, with the possible exception of Cruz and Paul and a few stalwarts, but their efforts are largely circumvented by the majority and the status quo never retreats or is stymied.

Cleombrotus on August 31, 2013 at 7:41 AM

But wait, the Media umpire crouches slightly, extends his right arm and shouts,
“Steeeee-rike!!!”

justltl on August 31, 2013 at 7:48 AM

Shot across the bow!

/Fear him.

Key West Reader on August 31, 2013 at 7:50 AM

Obama is on the mound with Assad up to bat. The world sits in the stands, fans and foes alike.
Obama stares intently at the catcher, shaking off sign after sign. Finally he nods yes.
As he is about to begin his windup the fans start the chant, “O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma, O-ba-ma!”
Obama delivers the pitch!
His pitching motion is that of a seven year old girl.
After two bounces, the ball rolls feebly over the plate.
A second of stunned silence from the crowd that seems like it lasts minutes followed by…
an uproar of laughter!
Ball one!!!

justltl on August 31, 2013 at 7:38 AM

All very good, but you forgot that the media is the umpire. Strike One!!!

Basilsbest on August 31, 2013 at 8:24 AM

While operationally the administration is incompetent, when it comes to propaganda, they’re (with their media accomplices) nothing short of masterful.

wolfsDad on August 31, 2013 at 12:02 AM

Isn’t the media cheerleading obvious from the media quotations cited? Why hearken Iraq (which is currently falling into disarray) when Libya is closer as an example of this criminal administration?

onlineanalyst on August 31, 2013 at 8:51 AM

PointnClick on August 31, 2013 at 6:57 AM

…got it!
(:->)…appreciate you….and remember that Stevie retort!

KOOLAID2 on August 31, 2013 at 8:56 AM

My Take: “The Syria Situation: The President Who Couldn’t (and, Wouldn’t) Shoot Straight”

kingsjester on August 31, 2013 at 7:19 AM

…he needs to get out the skeet gun!

KOOLAID2 on August 31, 2013 at 9:06 AM

With this crew, this is the best strategy;

http://news.investors.com/politics-andrew-malcolm/083013-669516-sarah-palin-obama-syria-indecision.htm

narciso on August 31, 2013 at 9:30 AM

PointnClick on August 31, 2013 at 6:57 AM

LOL Pass the salt?

Fallon on August 31, 2013 at 10:04 AM

onlineanalyst on August 31, 2013 at 7:32 AM

And not one American flag….Arab flags, yes…but Stars and Stripes?

coldwarrior on August 31, 2013 at 10:25 AM

PointnClick on August 31, 2013 at 6:57 AM

Not correct, I always thought your stuff was a worth wild read. Plus I never made it to the 10th grade. P.S. I am almost caught up to where I started. ; )

Bmore on August 31, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Bmore on August 31, 2013 at 10:53 AM

I bet I could count on one hand the times I entered the cafeteria during my high school career but it is quite the microcosm.

Cindy Munford on August 31, 2013 at 1:54 PM

It’s like the 10th grade cafeteria, and the kids at the cool table like Axe and Scrumpy and Bmore and Jackie and RWM and Schad and B9 and Dire and Sparky and Koolaid just noticed that the the guy in the corner with the low-grade Tourretes Syndrome that can’t help dropping F-bombs is actually kinda funny… in a way your parents wouldn’t approve of…

PointnClick on August 31, 2013 at 6:57 AM

Proving that you pay waaaaaay more attention than you claim :)

Your blog is superb.

QotD is a spaghetti of confusion for the extraterrestrials. Most of the time I’m clueless what’s it’s about, in all the 1001 ways…but ignore it all, don’t care, in mellow fading of the day…

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2013 at 2:17 PM

clueless what’s it’s about

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2013 at 2:18 PM

The subtle and not so subtle holier than thou are funny…in that they know a lot about what they claim to be holier than thou about.

Relax…much bigger fish to fry…The US has and takes all kinds.

Strikers and gulchers are not lazy loafers.

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2013 at 2:24 PM

You know what it is…? It’s like the 10th grade cafeteria, and the kids at the cool table like Axe and Scrumpy and Bmore and Jackie and RWM and Schad and B9 and Dire and Sparky and Koolaid just noticed that the the guy in the corner with the low-grade Tourretes Syndrome that can’t help dropping F-bombs is actually kinda funny… in a way your parents wouldn’t approve of…

PointnClick on August 31, 2013 at 6:57 AM

Not exactly. :) I think you are being too cynical. That might not be the perfect word — but if you weren’t a little edgy, there’d be no Taxicab Depressions.

I can tell the terrifying story of how it went horribly awry for you if I have to. I don’t want to, though. I have my reasons. I’ll resist. I’ll resist me much. You should know it’s going to go even more horribly awry.

PS: I’m not a cool kid. I’m behind the cafeteria smoking cigarettes and tempting Homecoming Queens with the dark side. Besides, the best analogy for HA is The Island of Misfit Toys. :)

—————-

Proving that you pay waaaaaay more attention than you claim :)

He does. :) Meh. We’re all too human.

Your blog is superb.

It is. Taxicab Depressions!

QotD is a spaghetti of confusion for the extraterrestrials. Most of the time I’m clueless what’s it’s about, in all the 1001 ways…but ignore it all, don’t care, in mellow fading of the day…

Schadenfreude on August 31, 2013 at 2:17 PM

lol

Axe on August 31, 2013 at 5:18 PM

Does anyone have Blaze tv? Is it any good? There needs to be more conservative news
channels on tv.

bluegill on August 31, 2013 at 1:57 AM

I wanted it. Back when Glenn divorced Fox, I wanted to follow. When things change a bit, I was planning to try it, sort of half-heartedly.

The problem for many of us is that we’re pretty hard core, and Hot Air just isn’t that hard-core anymore. IMO, etc. So, where to migrate? I dunno.

Axe on August 31, 2013 at 5:23 PM

Does anyone have Blaze tv? Is it any good? There needs to be more conservative news
channels on tv.

bluegill on August 31, 2013 at 1:57 AM

.
I wanted it. Back when Glenn divorced Fox, I wanted to follow. When things change a bit, I was planning to try it, sort of half-heartedly.

The problem for many of us is that we’re pretty hard core, and Hot Air just isn’t that hard-core anymore. IMO, etc. So, where to migrate? I dunno.

Axe on August 31, 2013 at 5:23 PM

.
Get DISH TV. They were the first TV signal service company to carry it.
There are some smaller, localized CABLE TV companies that carry it, but I don’t have a list.

DIRECT TV, and COMCAST will have to have a gun to their head, before they’ll pick it up.

listens2glenn on August 31, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Blues Aint Nothing but a Woman

Schadenfreude on September 1, 2013 at 12:53 AM

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